Entries in Bassist (2)


Elton John Bass Player Dead of Apparent Suicide

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Bassist Bob Birch, a longtime member of Elton John's band, has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

According to TMZ, the musician, who was 56 years old, was found dead Wednesday morning "around the corner from his home" in Los Angeles with a gunshot wound to the head.  Police officials report that neither a suicide note nor drugs were found at the scene.

Birch has been playing with John since 1992, and had contributed to many of the pop star's recordings over the years, including his hugely successful Princess Diana tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997."  The bass player also worked with a wide variety of other music stars, including Eric Clapton, Sting, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, Brian Wilson, Phil Collins and Cher, according to Pedulla Bass Guitars, the company whose instruments Birch endorsed.

A message responding to the news of Birch's death has been posted on Elton's website, reading, "We are very sad to report the sudden death today of Bob Birch, Elton’s bass player and backing vocalist, in Los Angeles.  Bob had been a member of the Elton John band since 1992, the longest-serving bassist in Elton’s touring band.  We send love and condolences to Michele Birch, and to their son, Jonathan."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


TV on the Radio Bassist Gerard Smith, 34, Dies of Cancer

Interscope Records(NEW YORK) -- Gerard Smith, bassist for the critically-acclaimed rock band TV on the Radio, died on Wednesday from lung cancer. He was 34 years old.

"We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20, 2011. We will miss him terribly," the band posted on its website.

TV on the Radio canceled five upcoming tour shows -- in Detroit, Chicago, Denver and Minneapolis -- for of its new album, Nine Types of Light, which reached number 12 on this week's Billboard charts.

The band announced on its website in March that Smith was taking time off to be treated for cancer.

"Gerard is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care," the announcement read. "Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard's legendarily willful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family."

Smith joined the Brooklyn-based band in 2005, and he contributed to its two acclaimed albums Return to Cookie Mountain in 2006 and Dear Science in 2008, which Rolling Stone magazine named album of the year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio